Craddock considered Glory move

Wolverhampton skipper Jody Craddock says he seriously considered joining the Perth Glory when the club contacted him earlier this year.

Wolverhampton skipper Jody Craddock says he seriously considered joining the Perth Glory when the club contacted him earlier this year.

Speaking after Wolves’ first training session in Perth on their Australian camp, Craddock said the time hadn’t been right to join the Hyundai A-League club, despite admitting he’d been struggling for selection at the time due to injury.

Fortunately for Craddock he persevered and the 33-year-old central defender won his place back in the side to play 11 matches in a row as Wolves marched to the Coca Cola Championship title.

His performances earning a one-year contract extension that will see him lead Wolves back to the Premiership for the first time since 2004.

“I spoke to Dave (Glory coach Dave Mitchell) but it just wasn’t the right time,” Craddock said.

“It was a massive decision I had to make, whether to make that step or not, to come to Australia.

“At the time I was being asked the question, it was when I wasn’t in the team and I got back in the team and trained the place down and managed to lift the cup at the end of the season, which was fantastic for me.

“So I got my reward, which was another contract which I’m happy with,” he said.

Despite being captain, Craddock’s position could still come under threat as manager Mick McCarthy looks to strengthen his defence against the Premier League’s top strikers.

But Craddock isn’t concerned despite the signing of French centre half Ronald Zubar from Marseille on Sunday.

Zubar will arrive in Perth on Tuesday for the pre-season camp, which includes matches against Hyundai A-League sides Perth Glory (July 10) and the North Queensland Fury (July 15).

Celtic defender Bobo Balde will also trial at the club while they-re in Western Australia and may play against Perth or North Queensland.

Having seen off several challengers over the years, Craddock said the pressure from below can only improve Wolves’ defence.

“These are great additions to the team,” Craddock said. “We want to stay in the Premiership and these are the players you need.

“You need a squad, you need the size of the squad, you need strength and these are good players that are coming in.

“I’ve had competition for my position my whole career. I don’t see it as a problem,” he added.

“Whether I’m in the team or not, I just have to keep training and working hard, it’s as simple as that.

“When I was younger, I used to scrutinise my game and kick myself if we had a bad game and blame myself. Now I just take that on the chin.

“(So) I don’t get down about it, I just get on with it and that’s what everyone should do and I know that’s easy to say and difficult to do, but I think the older you get the easier it is to do that.”

Despite just coming off a 24-hour journey to WA, Wolves looked sharp during their opening training session at the WACA ground, with club record signing Kevin Doyle being put through his paces under McCarthy and Craddock’s watchful gaze.